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Homebase to close Kirkcaldy store

A premier shopping destination has been dealt a substantial blow after one of its major retailers said it was closing down.

Homebase has confirmed it is closing its unit at the Fife Central Retail Park in Kirkcaldy, placing 30 jobs at risk. Lifestyle retailer the Range is to take over the premises, potentially alleviating some job losses.

While the DIY chain has not officially announced a reason for the decision, it is understood rental costs at the site, along with its close proximity to sister stores in Dunfermline and Glenrothes, are key factors in the decision.

Competition from rival B&Q, located just yards away within the same complex, is also understood to be behind its decision.

In a statement, a Homebase said: “Following a period of consultation with colleagues, we have announced that the Homebase store in Kirkcaldy will close, with a date yet to be confirmed.

“The store lease is transferring to retailer the Range subject to planning and landlord consents, who will invite all Homebase Kirkcaldy colleagues for an interview to work in their new store. Where possible we will also look for opportunities for colleagues at nearby Homebase and Argos stores.”

The Kirkcaldy retail park attracts visitors from across Fife and is home to major retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Boots, Next and Argos.

Its popularity with customers has been blamed for having a detrimental impact on Kirkcaldy town centre, where some retail park tenants continue to operate smaller sister stores.

The retail park was also hit by the economic downturn, however, with chains such as JJB Sports and Comet closing down.

Although the Homebase premises are not set to be vacant for long, a spokesman for the Range refused to confirm if it would be opening an outlet in Kirkcaldy in the near future.

The company operates 88 shops in the UK, only three of which are in Scotland.

Source: The Courier.co.uk
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/fife/hammer-blow-for-kirkcaldy-retail-park-as-homebase-to-close-down-1.476498

18 July 2014

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